Make yourself at home.
Step 1 - First things First
- Enroll your students or get information on local childcare resources
- Are you a new business? Get assistance , get a license
- Wondering if you qualify for medical, food, and cash assistance programs? Find out and apply online.
- Renting? Know your Oakland rights.
- Just bought an investment property? Join EBRHA and learn the Oakland laws.
- Turn on the lights - Contact PG&E
- Get your garbage, recycling and compost carts
- Set up your water services account
- Get your dog license from the City
- Get a Library Card
- Register to Vote
- Update your Driver's license and learn how to get around with this overview of Oakland transit
- Extra moving boxes?
- Get the basics locally (shower curtains, sponges, toilet brushes, dish racks, housewares etc..) at KP Asian Market (Housewares annex), Cole Hardware Rockridge, or Grand Lake Ace Hardware. Head to Jack London Square to stock up at Markus Supply Ace, Bed Bath and Beyond, Cost Plus and nearby Smart and Final in Old Oakland or Chanco Housewares in Chinatown.
Step 2 - Safety check
If you dial 9-1-1 on a cell phone in Oakland, your call will be received by the California Highway Patrol at the Vallejo Dispatch Center. This center responds to cell phone 9-1-1 calls from nine Bay Area counties. There will be a delay before your call can be forwarded to the Emergency Call Center. If you see a crime in progress, and are calling on a landline, call 9-1-1. If calling from a cell phone within Oakland, call 510-777-3211 (Oakland Emergency). To report a crime after the fact or to report suspicious activity that is not life-threatening, call the non-emergency number 510-777-3333 (Oakland Non-Emergency).
Put these numbers in your phone:
Oakland Emergency: 510-777-3211
Report gas leaks and other gas/electrical emergencies:
Fire (medical or fire) emergency: 510-444-1616 (or 911 from a land line)
Public Works: 510-615-5566
Report blight in public areas: 510-238-3381
- Sign up for Nixle alerts for urgent text and email updates from the Oakland Police Department (and others).
- Review Oakland Safety Tips from the Oakland Police Department and learn how to report crimes in Oakland (including dumping, online reporting and how to respond depending on the incident type)
- Find out if your neighborhood has a CORE committee and join their lists. Eventually, you can get CORE trained to help you, your family and neighbors respond in an emergency
- Join (or start) an Oakland Neighborhood Watch group
- Print out these Helpful Phone Numbers at the City of Oakland (pdf)
- Bookmark these Helpful links and resources for Residents
- Make sure your home is safe and your household is prepared for an earthquake, and in particular, The Big One.
- If you live in an apartment, homeowner or condo association, make sure you have the manager's emergency and non-emergency number handy and understand the emergency procedures.
Step 3 - Meet the People in Your Neighborhood
- Meet your neighbor. There's no link for this old-fashioned form of social networking, so head over to your neighbor's door, knock and introduce yourself!
- Find your Neighborhood Council and attend the next meeting
- Get on the neighborhood mailing or email list
- Follow your neighborhood group on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc..
- Sign up for your neighborhood NextDoor group
- Explore your neighborhood online
- Figure out who your Council Member is so you know who is creating policy and making decisions about your corner of the Town. Note: per the City's charter, the City Council's mandate is focused on legislation, the budget and setting policy. Questions and complaints should be directed at the city staff and departments responsible. That said:
- Get on their email list to stay informed
- Add your council member’s email to your contact list so you can weigh in on city policies
- Follow them on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc…
- Find out who else represents you and add their emails to your contact list.
- If you’re a new business, get connected with a Town Squared account.
- Got kids? Connect with other parents, guardians and caregivers:
- Follow the Family Friendly Oakland Facebook page, and follow @FamilyOakland on twitter and Instagram.
- Berkeley Parents Network (Includes Oakland)
- Facebook Group: Oakland, CA Mommies/Daddies Buy/Sell/Trade
- If you live in a homeowner or condo association, attend the next Homeowners Association and join a committee.
Step 4 - Make Oakland Better
- Download See-Click-Fix and start submitting issues, adding comments, and voting on requests.
- Shop at local stores, check out the Jack of All Trades Market and get your produce at weekly farmers' markets
- Lend a helping hand at Earth Day activities or on Creek to Bay Day
- Volunteer with and donate to Keep Oakland Beautiful
- Adopt a Park, paint a utility box, or mosaic a trash can through the City’s award-winning Adopt-A-Spot program
- Not artistic? Adopt a Storm Drain instead and keep our streets from flooding and garbage from polluting our waterways
- Got tech talent? Participate in Open Oakland’s annual City Camp or weekly hack nights.
- Get to know an Oakland non-profit. There are so many here making our city better each day. Search Guidestar to find one that fits your interests.
- Set up an account on the Speak up Oakland platform so you can give your feedback back to the City of Oakland.
- Attend the 14 week Citizens Police Academy
- Concerned about Homelessnesses? Join the county's EveryOne Home initiative, sign up to be on a committee or participate in the annual count of homelessness.
- Do something that puts you in contact with others that are a different age, race, or cultural background from you. For example, volunteer at a local recreation center, Senior Center or get involved with Meals on Wheels. Or become a mentor and support the City's Oakland Promise initiative.
Step 5 - Get to Know Oakland
- If you have young children, bookmark 510 Families and sign up for weekly tips
- Attend a City Council or Committee meeting (follow #Oakmtg on twitter) or follow on KTOP online or on TV (schedule) or KTOP on Facebook
- Sign up for the Mayor’s Newsletter or updates from the City Administrator and any other City lists or alerts you're interested in.
- Attend a City Board or Commission Meeting
- Explore Family Friendly activities and places
- Check out Visit Oakland for the latest events and Oakland ideas for visitors (follow #Oaklandloveit and @VisitOakland on Twitter/Facebook )
- Take an City of Oakland Walking Tour or an Oakland Urban Paths tour
- Subscribe and/or follow local news sources: the East Bay Times and East Bay Express for local print news, KTVU and KRON4 for news media and KQED for the local public radio/television station.
- Learn more about recurring themes:
- Join the Oakland History and Oakland Now! groups on Facebook and/or read a book or two on Oakland History. Not sure where to get started? Try Beth Bagwell's Oakland: The Story of a City.
- Sign up for the East Bay Regional Parks newsletter to get e-news updates
- Check out Block by Block's helpful resource list
- Root for the home teams: the Oakland A’s, Oakland (for now) Raiders and the Golden State Warriors
- Have a passion? Find your peeps.
- Find the answer to all your Oakland questions at OaklandWiki or subscribe to the Oakland Subreddit. Setup an an account and start contributing content.
Step 6 - Celebrate Good Times
If this guide helped you, share it with others that have recently moved and help us help others by telling us how we can make improvements. In the mean time, we'll see you around the town!
This information is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed.